« Vol. 19 No. 1 January 28, 2019 | Main | Vol. 18 No. 4 - October 31, 2018 »

Commanders Corner

Andy Swartzell- Deputy Team Leader


Happy New Year team! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays because 2019 is shaping up to be a busy time for us. Starting with our on-call month in February and the potential for deploying to the President State of the Union Address (SOTUA). When originally scheduled this month, the January on-call teams were requested to roster for the event and were just released this week. Although no date has been set, if it is scheduled for sometime in February we may get to participate either as a whole team deployment or provide a smaller HMTF. We also have been given mandatory on-line training that must be completed to be able to deploy per NDMS. It is clear from a recent  report sent to team commanders, that NDMS is tracking team member compliance. There is more  on the mandatory training below.

NDMS has also set a training schedule for teams for 2019. Although most of the classes through March were cancelled, NDMS has started rescheduling the training. CA-6 is scheduled to do Isolation Training April 1-4 and EMR Training April 10-13, 2019. In August, will be the Basic Aeromedical Evacuation Training (AET). We could be re-scheduled for the DMAT 101 training or asked to backfill other teams if there are spots open in their training.

 Team Meeting

The agenda for the team meeting and supporting documents can be found on the Training Documents area of the team website. We will discuss the calendar of events (on-call months and team meetings) for 2019. 

We will review the personal equipment list for deployments that was recently revised and how to assess a hospitals ability to function when damaged by a hurricane or other disaster.

We will also provide updates on the hiring process and onboarding documents that must be completed by people  being hired...or re-hired.


Some people have suggested we wear our uniform to team meetings again. I thought we were directed not too because of security concerns a few years ago. That is not the reason however. Our team meetings are not approved team meetings by NDMS. We tried to have them made official but NDMS would have been able to add requirements to the meeting and we could not have anybody other then NDMS employees participate; not even people who have applied and are going through the hiring process. I can't tell people to wear the uniform because we are not meeting "officially" but we do ask team members to wear the team t-shirt. I am fine with people wearing the uniform if they choose to, but people need to act accordingly while wearing one. When deploying, the travel authorization will indicate if a uniform is to be worn during travel and while on duty.

If you don't want to wear the uniform to the team meeting...that is OK but bring one anyway. We are going to show how to "Ranger Roll" a complete uniform (except boots) to fit in your backpack and still leave room for other stuff. I know...I have done it!

2019  Training 

By now, you should have received multiple emails and notifications about the online mandatory training requirements that must be completed in order to remain on the team. We will be reviewing these at the team meeting and several other team training events including the two in April, mentioned earlier. The new NDMS Policy for Intermittent Employees will be discussed and will be posted in the Policies & Procedures area on the team website. The policy includes the reponsibilities for team members and team leaders.

Hiring Update

As most of you are aware, the Direct Hiring Authority (DHA) process has been many many things other then "direct". However, the first batch of employees hired (or re-hired) are in the final steps of the onboarding process. Team Commanders are being provided with the names of these team members to track their status and assist with the onboarding process. There is a Credentialing and Attestation Release form and an Onboarding Guide, like a task book, that has to be completed and turned in. These will be reviewed at the team meeting and also posted on the website so team members in the hiring process can start working on the documents.

 All Disasters Are Local

California has seen it's share of disasters recently, particularly with the devastating wildfires throughout the State. The threat of major flooding and landslides is now very real and of course we expect earthquakes. Some people have recently deployed with the CAL-MAT to California disasters and others have asked why aren't DMATs assisting with the reponse to these? Brandon Bond has provided the following information on what is required to initiate a Cal-MAT and DMAT response to a disaster.


A proclamation of local emergency provides a city with legal authority to:

·         Request the Governor of California proclaim a State of Emergency

 ·         Promulgate or suspend orders and regulations to provide for the protection of life and property

 ·         Request state agencies and other jurisdictions to provide mutual aid

 ·         Requisition necessary personnel and materials from any city department or agency

·         Conduct emergency operations with increased liability protections.

After a proclamation of a local emergency, a city may request that the Governor of California proclaim a State of Emergency in the area to fully commit state resources, provide mutual aid assistance, and make available potential State reimbursement of approved response and recovery costs.  The Governor may also proclaim a state of emergency without a local request if:

·         The safety of persons and property in the state are threatened by conditions of extreme peril, or

·         Emergency conditions are beyond the emergency response capacity and capabilities of the local authorities

 In addition to a State of Emergency, the Governor can proclaim a State of Ware Emergency whenever the State or the nation is attacked by an enemy of the United States, or upon receipt by the State of a warning from the federal government indicating that such an enemy attack is probable or imminent.

 Following the proclamation of a State of Emergency, the Governor may request a Presidential Declaration of a major disaster.  A Federal declaration provides federal support and the potential reimbursement of approved costs.

 Once these policy requirements have been met the local Emergency Operations Center will submit a resources request to the State Operations Center.  The State will first attempt to fill the resource request within their own capabilities.


  •   For example the State of California may activate the Cal-Mat’s, however if they are not able to fill the request, they may request Federal assistance.  


  This will generate a Mission Assignment (MA) from FEMA, at the local level that will be sent through the National Operation’s Center in Washington D.C.  The MA will work it’s way over to the USHHS Secretary’s Operations Center (SOC) and be tasked to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Office of Emergency Management (OEM), National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), Disaster Medical Assistance Team. (DMAT).

  Hope to see all Saturday. Take care





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